PPR Coach Certification
I just completed PPR certification and I am now a PPR certified pickleball coach.
PPR stands for Professional Pickleball Registry and was established in 2018 to educate, certify teaching pickleball professionals. PPR is partnered with USA pickleball. The goal of PPR is combine the educational resources of PTR (Professional Tennis Registry) to create courses and workshops to certify PPR members to coach and teach pickleball.
What impressed me most about the entire process is that the course is tailored to the “beginner” or the “improver” and to a lesser degree, the seasoned pickleball player. USA Pickleball has experienced tremendous growth over the last 3 years and they have identified exactly who is coming to play.
The course is designed with the understanding that most players are older and may not have racket skills or innate athleticism. Others may be more athletic and/or are migrating from another sport such as golf. We learned skills to teach and retain all new players regardless of skill or background. This is really a core concept that, IMO, helps explain the popularity and growth of pickleball.
As I describe the process of my certification, keep in mind I have become a part of the PPR/USA Pickleball team. I can now practice the skills I learned to help my students improve technically, have fun and enjoy exercise…hopefully for a lifetime.
Requirements PPR Certification
There are several memberships required to get started;
- Membership to USA Pickleball – $20
- PPR Membership (non PTR members) – $177
- PPR membership (PTR members) – $50
- PPR Workshop Registration – $147
By joining PPR, you are eligible to take the certification Workshop and obtain liability insurance. PPR Affiliate memberships are available for those members not interested in coaching but might be interested in learning more about pickleball or running tournaments.
After registering for the Workshop, I received a Study Guide for both the online and on-court steps of the certification process. There is an online educational component which must be completed prior to the on-court workshop. This component takes 2-3 hours to complete and is comprised of educational videos. Each video is followed by a few test questions. In order to progress through the video series, I had to achieve a pre-determined passing grade for each video. I could reset each quiz and retake as many times as needed to achieve the requisite grade (not to worry).
Both the study guide and the video educational component emphasized techniques and methodologies on how to teach the beginner and “Improver” pickleball player. They also focus on adult learners.
The certification workshop is a live practical session and takes place “on-court.” Unbeknownst to me, the court is the classroom and there were no traditional didactic sessions. Maybe if I just learned to read ALL the information beforehand this wouldn’t have been a surprise…nonetheless a welcomed surprise!
We worked in small groups, no more than 4 to a pickleball court, working on technique, drills and techniques to make the beginner and improver a better player, but also a welcomed player. I was impressed with how PPR has embraced the pickleball culture by creating an atmosphere and structure that is positive, encouraging and focused on the newbie,..no wonder this sport is exploding. Our teacher, a certified professional, was excellent at demonstrating, observing and giving us tips to improve our technique and teaching skill.s
There are basic to pickleball: Warm up, Serve, Return, Transition and Dinking. In my opinion, the PPR/USA Pickleball has designed a teaching system that fosters development, participation, and most importantly, inclusion. The skills I learned during this workshop positively support the new pickleball player no matter what age, athleticism or skill. We are taught to be receptive and open minded regarding technical skills, i.e. there’s really no wrong way to hit a ball.
The session culminated with each student conducting a lesson for the others in each group.
Online Written Assessment
Shortly after completing the on-court workshop, the final step to certification is taking the online assessment. There are 75 questions that must be completed in 90 minutes. All questions are multiple choice. The questions and answers were reviewed in the study guide and during the workshop.
I found the videos to be most challenging. In most cases, you were to judge a player’s technical skill as you watched them serve, volley, dink, etc.
Results were tabulated immediately at the end of the test. Certified coaches must get a score of 75% or better while certified professionals must get at least 90% correct.
I passed. I am a PPR certified coach. While it does give me credibility and allows me to teach, more importantly, I have learned the core principles and tenets of PPR and USA Pickleball to effectively introduce this lifetime sport to my community.
Keep your game “Below the Net.”!